Admission onto the CAFL trial panel is by application only and requires satisfactory completion of a 7-day training program combining substantive law and trial skills. Thereafter, attorneys must work with a mentor assigned by the CAFL program. Additional support is provided by Resource Attorneys.
Once certified for the trial panel, attorneys must maintain certification through the annual completion of 8 hours approved continuing legal education on a fiscal year basis. The fiscal year begins on July 1 and concludes on June 30. Newly certified trial panel attorneys are expected to satisfy the continuing education requirement in the fiscal year subsequent to the year certification was received.
Continuing legal education requirements may be satisfied by attendance of 8 hours of legal education at CAFL sponsored trainings, through MCLE or in various regions throughout the Commonwealth, the CPCS Annual Training or equivalent training programs. To obtain credit for attending such an equivalent program, submit a request for approval together with a comprehensive description of the program, including its length and a syllabus describing contents and faculty, to the CAFL Certification Coordinator. Attorneys are urged to seek approval prior to attending programs. For a list of CAFL approved programs, see CAFL Training.
CLE certificates, proofs of attendance, or the CAFL Webinar Affirmation Forms must be sent to the CAFL TPSU Data Coordinator, Emma Knight, at email@example.com on or before June 30 of each fiscal year.
Attorneys who are fully certified and whose certifications are in good standing may accept assignments of care and protection cases, CRA cases, termination of parental rights cases, and child custody cases in which there is state intervention.
Attorneys who accept State Intervention/Child Custody and CRA cases must represent their clients at all trial proceedings. Trial counsel is responsible for appellate proceedings until such time as appellate counsel is assigned by CPCS and enters an appearance. By accepting assignments on these cases attorneys agree to abide by the CPCS Performance Standards Governing Representation of Children and Parents in State Intervention and Parental Rights Termination Cases.
An attorney must be separately certified to receive appellate assignments for these cases. See CAFL Appellate Panel Certification Requirements.